Saturday, 19 December 2009

Monday, 14 December 2009

The home run

All my fairs and commissioned pieces are over and completed. It now feels like the home run to Christmas!

I have made the two big commission pieces that I needed to be ready for Christmas, and I hope very much that they are liked and enjoyed by the clients who commissioned them.

One of the pieces I have just finished was a very complicated piece background wise. I didn't want the background to take over and dominate as it was a busy garden scene. I wanted the figures to stand out clear, it was very taxing and kept me on my toes. I'm so pleased to say that I am delighted with how the piece has come out. I can't believe that I have made it, I hope the clients like what I have made for them.
Commissions are so much harder to make, so much more is at stake. There is sometimes a little nagging doubt in the back of ones mind that the client will not like what you have made for them, even though they know and like your work (why else would they want a piece, if not so?) but that little doubt goes on worrying away. In a way I welcome it, It means that one has not become complacent about ones work, that one continues to try ones hardest to please. Commissions are a much harder way of working. But you learn so much more because you are trying out new ideas and different ways in which to solve the problems within a piece of work, as you go along.

I'm excited about the Christmas Holidays! I'm excited about seeing our families and our friends, I'm excited about being at home, epically spending well earned time with the ever patient Michael. I crave the walks we plan to do, about being out and about in the fresh air and having time to do other things than my work, a rest that's what I need, isn't that what we all need as we head towards the end of 2009 and the Christmas festivities?
I wonder how many of us will have a rest with the thought and planing of a certain large feast with family and friends that is looming! at least it will be a different kind of work!

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The last day

Today I am beetling over to Sarah Tyssens Weaving House with a lemon drizzle cake in tow as my work is being exhibited in her house. It is the last day of her open house art and craft sale. The house is quite beautiful, made entirely of wood and built purely in the Arts and Crafts movement era as a weaving house, it is only apt that she should carry on the tradition of weaving there.
Her work is sumptuous, soft muted colours of the moors and heath lands beautiful woven into scarves and throws. There is a good selection of other crafts work there, nicely mixed and arranged by the Magazine journalist and stylist Stephanie Bateman Sweet, who has a reel flair for design and and an intrinsic eye for layout and placing objects of desire.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rose Cottage

Last Friday and Saturday I was invited to exhibit my pieces at Jan Guest's Christmas at Rose Cottage She is kind, welcoming and thoughtful, modest and full of praise for other artists, a delight to be amongst. Her work is all about the sea. Sculptures and wall pieces in soft blues and greys, incorporating found objects with her made ceramics, entwined and beautifully placed. I love her work, gentle and humorous, although looking at her work it makes me homesick for the sea which is why I was so thrilled when she kindly gave me a piece.

Monday, 23 November 2009

A very little fish

Needle Case delight

Who could resist a basket full of birds?

On view

What a packed couple of weeks it has been, so much so I have not had a minute to update my blog until now.
I have been to London exhibiting my new pieces at the Country living Magazine Christmas Fair, my friend Graham Hollick installed me in his wonderful house and looked after me a treat, he cooked the most wonderful baked cheese cake which we managed to eek out over the week with very generous portions, we did consider also eating it for breakfast but decided that maybe was a bit excessive.
The fair is massive and one feels like a very small fish in a huge glass bowl with all eyes on ones self, my new pieces were very well received and all the hard work I had put in to the collection really paid off, people were very kind with their comments and praises of my work, which I always find very humbling. One woman even came into my both and burst into tears because she found the images in my work so moving, I was really lost for words and just smiled at her not knowing what else to do, my work usually makes people smile, I'm not ready for tears.

After Country Living it was to Brighton to the MADE Fair, I traveled with my friend Sarah Tyssen and along with catching up with news, colour ways, wonderful textiles in general, what we had eaten and what we were about to eat, we settled into the fair and once more had our works very well received. We had dinner one night at Carluccio's which was just heavenly and each day had early morning coffee and pastries from there also, if you find yourself in Brighton in Church Street then pop into Carluccio's for a delicious treat.

I have a couple of days at home before the next exhibition, even though I am working all the time to keep up, I love it! I love the making of new things, the nervous tension that excites one of trying out new colours and forms, of putting into practice new ideas within new pieces, the sheer delight of the finished piece within it's frame, all ready to be presented.

The television programme that I have been included in " Talking Threads " has been aired, and I have had many positive comments, people have been very excited that at last there is a textile programme on television, celebrating the love and joy of making textiles, all I can say is at last! and if my small contribution to the programme is that I can encourage someone to begin stitching then I am really really pleased.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

What a mad couple of weeks it has been!! I have been madly creating new pieces to take to the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair which opens next Wednesday! I am very pleased with my fabric sewing accessories that I have been busily putting together. I also have new little framed machine embroideries, some new unframed pieces and lots of surprises. Very exciting.

I have made a winter collection of six small framed pieces to go into the Discover Centres Gallery to accompany the Making Merry Open Studios later on this month that The Colour Factory is involved with. I must admit that I love visitors coming into our building to visit our shop/gallery area, but I loath visitors wanting to come into my space, it makes me shudder. Creating is such a personal occupation, I really don't like to be seen in the making process. Once my work is finished I don't mind who views it or what is said about it, but when making it I need my private space.

My lovely husband Michael had his composed piece of music for the PM programme for the "up shares down shares" slot played on Radio 4 last Monday, a very exciting afternoon. I am very proud of him.

The colour rough for the book has arrived and Sunday has been the designated day that I shall go through it with of course Michael's help. It looks wonderful, Cesca's photographs just stand out as truly magnificent pictures, just beautiful. She makes my work look scrumptious. I can't thank her enough.

Tomorrow the madness of trying to get everything finished in time for the calm and gentle packing everything up on Friday and then the weekend for our invitation to our dear friends bonfire party! Hurray!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

I was in Maidenhead on Friday with a lovely group of stitchers who had asked me to hold a workshop for them. They were a fantastic group to be amongst, knowledgeable , lively talented and all very competent with their machines.
A project idea was set for the day and off they all went on their own journeys with their ideas and their individual styles. The pieces that were produced were exquisite, a delightful array of machine embroideries, each one made with care and a love of sewing, colour, texture and the delight and excitement of being together as a group again. we had a tear and share lunch with much laughter.
I felt very honoured to be asked to join them for the day, it was such a great day and I came away with the warm feeling of just how magical it is to be with friends and like minded people and to spend ones times sewing.
sadly I forgot to take my camera, so I do not have a visual record of the day.

I have been working with fabric in my spare time at home, patting about a few ideas. Its lovely to work with fabric for a change, although its very difficult to work when one of your cats has decided that warm sunshine on an already warm ironing board is so much nicer than sharing a chair with your fellow cat mate in a sunny summer house.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Origin and back again

Origin was a great week. Amongst the whole experience I met lots of people, saw old friends, talked about my work, chatted about embroidery in general, had lunch every day from Marks and Spencer, and made sales. All in all a very successful time.
I was of course when I returned home and then back to the studio completely exhausted. I am now rearing to go sewing again and have an abundance of new ideas, a good job really as my next fair The Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair is only 3 weeks away!
I feel as though I have been in doors for such a long time that I am longing to be in the garden over the weekend and aim to be pottering about with autumn colours and spending a bit of time beneath that lovely blue October sky.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I am all packed for Origin, everything is stacked and labeled. I am very excited about hanging all the pieces together and seeing for once how they all look together and how the pieces will be received.

My work has been written about in the Origin Catalogue by one of the Origin selection panel C J Lim. What he says is very complementary there is also a picture "Oh, which one to choose" what a lovely start to the fair before I even get there.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


My big pieces are now in their frames and all bubble wrapped and stacked, ready for Origin. They look so different when in their frames, complete, and ready to be viewed.
I feel a little nervous about them going up onto the walls, they have been with me for a good few weeks now, a couple of them I do not want to part with.
However, I am very excited about seeing them up on show, all together. My new collection.
My little pieces are on their pieces of card and cellophane wrapped, in a cardboard box and like my framed pieces they are all waiting.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Book draft ahoy!!

The first draft of my book has arrived, it looks fantastic! beautiful photographs, Cesca the wonderful photographer really knew what she was doing, her styling throughout each photograph is just magical.
I am really pleased with the little changes that have been made on it by the editor, the typeface is easy to read and the content, well wait and see!

In between making the changes on my book I am finishing off my collection for Origin.
All the little jobs which one thinks will take no time at all, always take the longest time. I so want to make a little bird piece and so hope that I will have enough time to do so. I have a little bird fluttering around in my head and I want to get him out and into a piece of embroidery before the foxes get him, as my head up to now has been full of foxes, running in the snow, hiding in the trees. I have never made pieces about foxes up untill now, its very exciting.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Colouricious Television Programme

Here is information about the television programme my work and I are going to be on, it will take you to face book and there is a photograph of me, I am the one who looks looking as though she is counting up sums on her fingers. The first episode is going to be on 14th October- Country Channel tv and sky 171

I have been away teaching on a South east Regional Embroiderers Guild Summer School Weekend at Earnley which is on the coast near to Selsey Bill. Lovely students, all of whom had such a wonderful sense of fun and a great amount of talent about them. We had a great time all busily stitching away producing delightful Machine Embroidery pieces, very satisfying.
The next weekend was taken up with being at the studio on the Saturday and then getting up at 5.15am on the Sunday to spread my treasures/rubbish at our local car book, again a very satisfying weekend. I loved watching all the people at the car book. Such a wonderful mixture of all sorts!

My new pieces for Origin Week Two 13th-18th October stand No. B1 are coming along slowly but surely, I am very excited about what I am making. At the moment I am making little animal pieces, in the snow, in the autumn leaves, at the sea-side - lovely.
Tomorrow I must begin a drawing for a client about her family and their home, I have been mulling it over for a while now, and now I want to begin it. The finished piece is for Christmas time, so I have time to play with and time to make. I hate making clients wait for either their drawings or their pieces, but sometimes you just have to wait yourself until it is the right time for you to begin making. It feels somewhat selfish but in my heart I know it is the right thing to do. if I rush into it, the piece will just not come out right.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Snow and Owls

My lady with her heavy shopping bags is finished. The snow is bright white and crisp and the sky is heavy with more snow to follow, the little birds are chirpy and hungry.
Today I am starting a piece about an owl in the night time. I have not made a piece about an owl for a very long time and I am excited, as yet I do not know if there is going to be two people or just one in the piece, I started some little drawings on my train journey into work today and am going to have a lot of space in the piece.
I am so looking forward to seeing what this collection of pieces is going to look like all displayed together at Origin 2009. I am in the second week and have a wonderful stand, long and thin with a lot of wall space-lovely!

I went and saw my old studio share mate Lindsey Mann last week in her wonderful new studio which she shares with her colleague Olivia Lowe the studio looks out across rolling Hampshire countryside with spectacular views in all directions, very inspiring. The work they both produce is very inspiring too!

Tomorrow I am having the day off and Michael and I are off on an adventure on our bikes. I need to be outside for a day and to see the sky and hopefully feel the sun on my face.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

I have almost finished a piece about a girl and her chickens, it has a lovely lavender filled border and a summer blue sky, I want tomorrow, to start a piece about the snow and little hungry birds being fed by a lady on her way home from the shops, weighed down by her shopping. I am having more space around my figures and trying very hard not to be tempted to squash as much in as I can, I keep listening to Janet Bolton's voice in my head "Less is more, less is more" like a mantra.

I listened to Cath Kidson today on Woman's Hour BBC radio 4 being interviewed by Jane Garvey and it made me nosey to go into one of her shops in Winchester's high Street. The shop has been opened for quite a few weeks and until today I had not ventured in. I have seen her fabrics so many times in magazines and catalogues that now it leaves me quite overwhelmed and numb, however what I did enjoy looking at very much was the real vintage pieces of fabrics, ironically I thought, put into frames and dotted around the walls of the shop. I also enjoyed looking at her crazy patchwork which was hung in the stairwell and crazy patchwork upholstered chair on display in the window.
I think she has done a great deal of good for textiles in general, this warm comforting feeling that is portrayed by 'homemade is cool' and 'have a go yourself'. I like to think that this confidence boosting marketing will not only encourage all women under the age of 30 to pick up a needle and thread or a pair of knitting needles but will make the youngsters have a go at sewing to, I am all for that, I can not think that there is anything more satisfying than the pleasure of making something yourself, either to eat, wear, use or to look at. I would be truly lost if I stopped making.
The Colouricious television programme that I was filmed for is very much about the pleasure of sewing, it is all scheduled to be shown later in the autumn it is going to be shown on Sky TV on www.countrychanneltv I wonder how it will be received? I hope it inspires the love of textiles.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Cornwall beaches and thirteen Sock Monkeys

I have just returned from Cornwall. I tried very hard to look at the light and remember the colours around me. Cornwall has a clear true light especially in St Ives. I was staying just outside st Austell and near to The lost Gardens of Helligan. the nearest beach being Caerhays Beach
I had a wonderful time. My favourite time being sitting on the beach in the sunshine, watching the people around me and watching the sea. I miss the sea so much, I think it was growing up by it, it has never left me and think about it everyday. That's why, I am pretty sure that I make so many pieces about it, there is something so mesmerizing about the sea.
I met up with my friend Rebecca www.curiousthings and we had a wonderful walk along a coastal path and watched very noisy stone chats perched on the tops of bushes as we walked and chatted along the path whilst every so long glanced at the spectacular view and of course the sea.

The day after I returned from Cornwall, Jill my studio space share and I held a Sock Monkey workshop for thirteen young people at the Colour Factory Studios The Summer Workshops are all over now until the next holidays, all went away very happy with their Monkeys, and Jill and I relaxed briefly with a cup of tea before the task of tidying everything away!

The piece I started before I went away is now finished along with a couple more pieces and ideas for a collection of "sister pieces" all about the weather- smallish pieces, people and animals all travelling through various weather torn countryside scenes. Of course at present I am making a piece about the sea! Oooh lovely!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Finished commissions and the sound of the sea, 50 times over.

The two commission pieces are finished. All wrapped up and waiting to be collected, all very exciting. It is always a joy and relief when a piece is finished, a joy that the piece is good and one is pleased with it, knowing in ones heart that you have done your jolly best and been honest with yourself, and a relief that it came out well, without the embroidery being damaged whilst sewing it. (sometimes they split with the heavy intense stitching, there is nothing you can do to save the piece, all that hard work ruined-heartbreaking).

I have a couple more commission pieces to do drawings for first, for the clients to see, before I begin to make the embroidery pieces, but I need to make some pieces for myself first. I am so longing to finish the piece I started before I went away on holiday, I feel so out of touch with it, its so empty with only the black stitch upon the fabric, this week I know I will get it finished and finally be able to work out the story in the piece, of course I'm not going to tell anyone whats it all about, I shall leave that to the viewer to decide.

Today I have been at Southampton University part of "The Big Outdoors" with my colleague Alex Hoare part of a music and arts workshop day, we were making rain makers, although a lot of the time Alex and I said it was in fact the sound of the sea! which the children enjoyed making very much, lots of tissue paper and glue-heaven! we reckon we worked with about 50 children throughout the day, so not bad. I must admit I was thankful for a cup of tea when I got in and a sit down. Then the real rain started outside again, had we encouraged it with our 50 rain makers?

Friday, 17 July 2009

On Friday I went to London and delivered my book to A&C Black Ltd. I can't believe that I have handed over my manuscript and it now lies in their capable and experience hands. I now have a bit of time to play with until it is returned to me with changes and checks. I celebrated with a trip to Maison Bertaux - 28 Greek Street Soho where I met my old college friend Graham Hollick for coffee and the most wonderful cake. (The window of the cafe is not only a visual feast but a mouth watering one as well, resistance is futile) After stuffing our faces and catching up on news, events and trips of holidays and working holidays, Graham is off again to India for more work on his collection of clothes and accessories for the home, working with a woman's co-operative. Graham is not only a talented designer, fantastic cook but also a modest and kind soul who works with the most fabulously talented individuals and groups. I wish I could be more like him.

After waving goodbye to my friend I went to Contemporary Applied Arts to deliver new work and collect old work. A fantastic gallery which I am really delighted to have my work shown in. It's in Percy Street, very near to Tottenham Court Road and well worth a visit.

Then I decided that after having my apatite whetted with all the wonderful pieces in CAA I need to see more and went along to the British Museum which is just a hop, skip and a jump away. I am so glad I went. I saw clothes made and worn by the indigenous people of Northern America. Oh what fantastic garments they were too. A Parker made from seal intestine, the 'fabric' looked like silk, it was embellished with beautiful hand embroidery, made to wear whilst collecting berries. I have new ideas for new pieces and am very excited.

This week I am finishing off a big commission piece for a family, then making a small cat commission, and then if there is any time left I am going to continue in finishing the piece I started before my holiday.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Filming for television

last Monday I was filmed for a Stitching programme which is due to be shown later in the autumn. I was so nervous on my drive to the filming, I did a one stage think that I had better pull over as I thought that I would be sick due to my nerves. I didn't and I was fine.
The organiser, director and film crew were all very kind, reassuring and gentle. As I was being filmed I could feel my pounding heart echoing through my words, but I think I got away with it and only my words came out.
I have no idea how I came across or what I said, or how I looked as i stitched away, it was noted that I was very enthusiastic when talking- so we will have to wait and see. Now a few days later I can say I enjoyed it, or rather the memory of it! I was so, so tired at the end of the day, was that all the hard work and emotion of my performance? or my mum waking me up at 6am to tell me I did not need to get up until 6.30?

I am back from my holidays! I had a wonderful time. We camped in mid wales and them moved down to the coast, lots of wonderful walks, food, laughing, sunshine and showers.
My visit to Cowslip Workshops was great, the lovely students were very inspiring and produced fabulous pieces of embroidery. Now I am back in the studio and back to work with a mound of pressing things to do and a collection to start for Origin.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Workshops and holidays

I have managed to finish off all I wanted to do last week, The new Angels are well on their way and the commissions have been collected, sent and ready to be sent this week to fit in with the clients. I had a successful long day on the book and then in the evening managed to loose the whole lot! I must admit I couldn't help the tears, out of frustration and anger with myself for hitting the wrong button on the keyboard. I remember the days when every thing was written down in long hand, with the only worry being where had it been left, but I also remember the hours spent trying how to find the correct spelling for all the words that needed to be used, I love my spell check!
I have topped up the missing work on the book by writing in the evenings. Not my favourite way of writing as I find the words and ideas do not always come as thick and fast as in the day. Whereas my sewing does, whether day or evening, I can always sew.

I started a new piece yesterday, a piece for myself, well a piece for the new collection for origin The Crafts Council in October at Somerset House, The Strand I just wanted to have a new piece already started because as from a week on Monday I am on holiday. There is no way I am going to have it finished by Monday, but I just wanted a piece ready for me to carry on with when we get back from our travels. Its a lady hurrying along holding a little dog with another dog behind her trying to keep up. I don't yet know whether it is her dog or not which is following her. And I don't know whether is is sunny or raining with them all. I think her coat is going to be light blue.

This coming week I travel to Cornwall as Saturday and Sunday are spent at Cowslip Workshops in Launceston, I am running a two day workshop in Pictorial Machine Embroidery. I am very excited indeed. Cowslip is a wonderfully magical place to be. Run by the lovely Jo Colwil and her husband Stephen. Cowslip as well as runing courses is an Organic Farm with a dairy heard. It hosts a fantastic Cafe and a sumptuous fabric and haberdashery shop, full of everything a textile lover could possible want and desire.
Then I am on holiday for two weeks! and we go away to Wales, were the weather is going to be hot and sunny all the time. We plan to walk, drink in pubs, eat and laugh alot.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Work and Puddings

It's been lovely having our friends to stay, we managed to cram a lot of company into two weeks. Great food and some lovely walks. We heard a Cuckoo one afternoon, saw eels, tiny fry, dinner plate sized trout, herons, yellow iris's, steam trains and had almost a whole train packed with day trippers wave at us from our garden. All in all a very successful time. here is a few of our lovely visitors and friends their web sites and blogs:
Curious Things

Puddings included: cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding, Mrs. Millers old English trifle, fresh fruit salad with almond liqueur, cheese platter and ice cream. (I could eat them individually all over again and then again.)

The children's half term workshops at the studio were great, lots of children making lots of creations, lots of noise and lots of fun. The sun just shone down on us, Jill and I had the children sewing outside - heavenly. More workshops are planned for the beginning of the summer holidays, in I hope more glorious sunshine.

I've been working a long houred week last week and shall again this week. The light in the evenings has a gentleness about it, slightly defused, its a nice light to work in and as long as BBC7 is broadcasting a good Ole murder I am happy to work the evenings away to get my work done. I finished another largish commission and three little ones. They are wrapped and ready to be sent and collected, always a satisfied feeling as they are carefully shrouded in tissue paper ready for their new owner. I cannot allow myself to become sentimental about the pieces that I make, but sometimes I really want to keep them. Each piece finds its own home.
This week amongst the jobs I have planned, I am going to start some new Angels and have another day on the book as well as making an order for a shop.

I am pleased to say that Big One has made a full recovery from his teeth extraction and once again is noshing his way though a huge box of oh so fishy, followed closely behind by Maurice and his slightly more delicate appetite.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Here, there and everywhere.

Henley was fab, my pieces went up a treat onto the walls and I was very pleased that I managed not to crowd them altogether, but to give the pieces space. My Friend Janet Bolton would have been very proud of me, she constantly reminds me "not to crowd" There were lots of lovely people to chat with, very flattering remarks, sales and commissions. All in all I was very pleased, and although it did rain, a lot, it was a great show.

On my return I finished the lovely long Autumn commission piece and am sending it off this week. Very exciting. As I got nearer to the completion of the piece, with its russet tones and hues the sun through the window got that little bit stronger and stronger, and when I was wrapping Autumn up in its safety of bubble wrap, out came the sunshine in warm orange, at last- I think summer is here!

On Saturday I held a one day workshop in Oakham, Rutland at Catmose College. The students produced beautiful pieces of machine embroidery, all worked exceedingly hard, we all had a great day, sumptuous threads, the sound of busy whirring sewing machines, concentration and many laughs. Each one in the group produced such varied and individual pieces, they were an inspiration and a delight to teach. Catmose College is a school but has a gallery and holds workshops. In the gallery was an exhibition of embroidery pieces from The Embroiderers Guild Groups, under the title of Canals. Bright, honest, cheery, full of patten, design, techniques and an overwhelming shout of the love of stitching.

Yesterday I went to Brighton, to the open house for the last time, as it was the last day. The house still looked splendid with all the work displayed and everyone being enthusiastic and helpful. At the end of the day, with the help of my lovely husband Michael we packed all my work away and the work of my friend Jan Guest and drove it back along the coast, saying good bye to people that I had spent a happy time with, it is always sad, but in a good way as I had a enjoyable time with them. We stopped of at Jan's and then had a pub dinner nosh up with beer, very nice and a good way to end what seemed like a mad dash around the country.

This week we have three sets of friends coming to stay, I am planing menu plans, with of course puddings being the most important course. Why have dinner when you can have pudding instead?
At the studio, being half term week we have workshops for children. I must cut out 12 cushion covers tomorrow ready to be decorated and appliqued by 12 enthusiastic young artists. I am also going to start and finish the biggest mound of paper work and start another commission piece, which I have been mulling over for a while, and now feel ready and excited to begin.

Our cat Big One has made a brilliant recovery from his teeth extraction, and Maurice and him are once again merrily bashing the living daylights out of each other, in a friendly cat like way.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

I cannot believe how much I have done since my last posting! so much so that every activity and all my new pieces have just blurred into One!! I feel as though I have achieved a lot and I hope that I have.
More photographs for the book were taken on Monday, sumptuous threads in beautiful pale green and blue bowls, just looking divine.
A new piece 'A run in the Park' the last piece to be made ready for Henley on Thames The Craft and design experience at Fawley Court is in it's frame and all wrapped up. I leave and set up on Thursday, apparently in the poring rain! I am looking forward to seeing how all the work looks together and meeting all the people who come to the fair. I am also very excited about visiting the local Waitrose, not only lovely foot but extremely good decorative and inspiring packaging.
I was in Brighton for the weekend at the house sale which is exhibiting very delicious pieces, i did fly around a couple of other houses, such a fantastic wealth of wonderful work, almost too much to take in.
I have started a new commission piece, an Autumn scene, all russets and ochres, very exciting, big warm coats and scarves and gloves, still seems appropriate at the moment, with this nip in the air, my poor tomatoes and runner beans.
Our cat Big One, had four teeth out today he only has two teeth left, tiny little molars. poor Big One, Maurice has been making the most of being top cat for the day whilst Big One was on the operating slab and has been prancing around, all back to normal now with the pecking order.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Photographs and Exhibitions

The last day of the photographs for the book happened this week, a good productive day. All the projects for the book beautifully styled and shot by our next meeting is to go through the shots and start to place them into the text. Can't wait. Cesca is a delight to work with.

I spent yesterday afternoon making Angels Wings for the 20 wingless Angels I have patiently waiting in a large paper page on the top shelf in my studio. (On the shelf, it's true) getting them all ready for the Brighton annual event in May, which I am very excited about being included in this year- -Brighton Open House Artists trail, the house I am exhibit hing in is: Art Holistic 1 The Old Church Hall, 15 Ditchling Rise Brighton, BN1 4QL.

Along with my Angels I am going to have Machine Embroidery bird and sea themed pieces, framed and unframed, hopefully a nice mix.

Then later in May I am exhibiting at the Craft Experience Fair at Fawley Court Henley on Thames stand no. H15 so at present its all go, go, go!! I have an idea of how I want my stand to look, and want to make a few more pieces epically to take to Henley.

I hope I can make all these new ideas happen.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

This piece of graffiti knitting has appeared outside the studio, it is quite marvelous, I have been watching people smiling at it as they pass by and little children running up to it to stroke it, i heard one child ask her mum, "do you think it's been put on the post to keep it warm?"

I have been here there and everywhere for the last two weeks and now I am back in the studio and about to begin some new pieces and can't wait.

I spent two very productive days with a very nice woman who is taking the photographs for the book and I am very excited about her approach and thinking of the way in which she works.
The photographs are going to be even better than I hoped which has filled me with delight and excitement. There are still more photographs to take and a day this week has been penciled in.

I have five runner bean seedlings up so far, fantastic.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Friday, 3 April 2009

Beautiful Blossom

The tree in the garden at the studio is just so beautiful at present that I just had to capture it, we are unsure of what tree it is, but think it is an ornamental cherry tree, it's full of nut, seeds and fatty balls for all the park birds, which this cold winter there has been lots of. We have blue tits in our bird box, so all in all garden life is very exciting. Our lovely gardener is doing a wonderful job in getting the garden to look fabulous, and easy to run about in for all our workshop children.

I've been making pieces for the Brighton festival, open house exhibition and The Craft experience Fair Fawley House in Henley-on-Thames. Both events in May, with a couple more commissions mixed in, a nice mix and good projects to get my teeth into. I 've been working one one of my favourite themes-the sea, and I am having a very happy time sewing away.
I feel so much happier with the longer lighter evenings and some sunshine, it's warmer and people are friendlier, all very very welcome.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Big and small

I decided today to finish off a very big piece I had begun a long time ago. Whilst working upon it, it brought back memories of that time, and I realised how my work has changed and moved on. Quite a dark piece. themes that I would quite like to explore again.
Then I finished off two tiny pieces. What next I wonder?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

This piece -race you to the lighthouse is currently illustrated in Selvage magazine which is a wonderful magazine, very inspirational, however the article says that I am going to be at The Teddington textile fair, which this year sadly I am not, I hope to be their next year with my work.

Seedlings ahoy!

I spent last week trying out more new ideas for pieces for the book and only had one disaster out of five so not bad going! It was really good to be sewing away and listening to all the birds singing their hearts out outside in the sunshine, catching lovely song when I stopped the machine every so often to change colour or to put in a new spool. I have again been using new colour combinations, with at times what I think seems to be a 1930's feel.
On Saturday I held a workshop birthday party for girls who had a wonderfully exciting time making delightful pieces and eating birthday cake, all laughing and giggling as only girls can. then home and out with a lovely friend for a big nosh up!!
Today we went up the river for a lovely spring time walk and when we got back home I planted more seeds including geranium's which I have never tried to grow before. I recently saw in a garden centre a display of planted plastic vegetables, with all the seeds and trowels and canes all dotted about the display, enticing one to buy, most peculiar, we seemed to be the only ones who could not understand the relevance of the plastic produce, each piece of plastic veg even had its own bar code sticker. Hope my geraniums are not plastic seeds.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

3D boxes in the making

New pieces and more ideas to try out.

The commission piece that I was making last week is finished. It's a good piece, I am very glad as it took me a long time to make it, rather taxing and a challenge, but I am very pleased because I feel as though I learned a lot this week through it. It's now off to the framers next week and then will be ready for the client for the beginning of April.
I have started another project for the book, 3D boxes, another challenge, and again a good taxing one, certainly keeping me on my toes. I tried putting new colours together, rather than using old favourite combinations, it is hard doing new things, but good, I don't ever want to become complacent and relient on what I have done before, I want to keep moving forward.
Next week i am trying out some more idea for the book projects, ideas I have been mulling over for ages, in my head they all work and look splendid, next week I shall find out the truth when I make them.
I now have 35 sweet peas up! I want to empty my compost bin but think I should wait another week along with waiting a bit longer to sow more seeds, before our summer house is crammed with seedlings in old juice boxes.

xray vision

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Seaside Bunny


15 sweet peas are up so far and I think spring is surely on its way!
I've just started a new commission piece this week and so far am very pleased with how it is coming along. It is quite a challenging piece with a subject matter that requires a lot of concentration, I am excited by the challenge and hope very much that the piece comes out how I want it to. Making commission pieces takes so much longer than when you are making pieces for 'yourself' the client is always in the back of your head and you constantly ask yourself questions, this green? or this green? when you make for yourself you automatically know which green to use.
I am always very delighted to make commission pieces, it is always a great joy to be asked to make a piece which has a subject matter which is so very special and individual and means so much to that person.

Saturday, 21 February 2009